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DUP hoping to conclude deal with May as soon as possible

The leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Arlene Foster, and the Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds, stand on the steps of 10 Downing Street before talks with Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, in central London, Britain June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Phil Noble

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The Northern Irish party in talks to support Theresa May’s minority government hopes to conclude negotiations with the prime minister’s Conservative Party as quickly as possible, its leader told BBC on Friday.

Arlene Foster said the negotiations did not hinge on May’s legislative programme - the so-called Queen’s Speech - that the British prime minister will lay out on Wednesday and Foster’s Democratic Unionist Party has said it will support.

“The Queen’s Speech is not the be all and end all in relation to the negotiations that we have been having with the Conservative Party but I do hope that in the national interest we are able to conclude these talks as quickly as possible” Foster told BBC in an interview.

Foster also said that while the eurosceptic DUP “believe in Brexit”, they recognise the unique geography on the island of Ireland and want to see pragmatic talks between the European Union and Britain about what works for both the British province of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, an EU member.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Alison Williams